669
669
Trithemius, Johannes (1462-1516)
POLYGRAPHIE, ET UNIVERSELLE ESCRITURE CABALISTIQUE… TRADUICTE PAR GABRIEL DE COLLANGE. PARIS: BENOÎT PRÉVOST FOR JACQUES KERVER, 1561
Estimate
3,0004,000
LOT SOLD. 5,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
669
Trithemius, Johannes (1462-1516)
POLYGRAPHIE, ET UNIVERSELLE ESCRITURE CABALISTIQUE… TRADUICTE PAR GABRIEL DE COLLANGE. PARIS: BENOÎT PRÉVOST FOR JACQUES KERVER, 1561
Estimate
3,0004,000
LOT SOLD. 5,000 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

|
London

Trithemius, Johannes (1462-1516)
POLYGRAPHIE, ET UNIVERSELLE ESCRITURE CABALISTIQUE… TRADUICTE PAR GABRIEL DE COLLANGE. PARIS: BENOÎT PRÉVOST FOR JACQUES KERVER, 1561
FIRST EDITION IN FRENCH, 4to (243 x 180mm.), title within allegorical woodcut border with portrait of the translator on verso, 2 similar sectional titles, 13 large woodcut diagrams (coding devices) with volvelles, partly printed in red and black, contemporary calf, small emblem gilt of crowned dolphin on covers (probably indicating a trade binding rather than a royal provenance), very minor dampstaining, rebacked
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Provenance

Jacobus Herbert, Caen, early ownership inscription; Gisbert Combaz, Brussels, ownership inscription dated 1910; bought from Jeremy Norman, San Francisco, 1988

Literature

Tomash & Williams T52; FB 49898; Mortimer, Harvard French, 528; USTC 1225

Catalogue Note

Trithemius, abbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Spanheim, was the first important writer on cryptography and is reputed to have been the teacher of Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa. He was of considerable influence on the reformed Hermetic thought of his period; John Dee, in particular, is said to have been the first to see the cryptographical possibilities of Trithemius's system.

The woodcuts in this work, originally published in Latin at Basel in 1518, are arranged in the form of a wheel of numbers or letters, separated by emblematic figures. They can be moved under a fixed strip bearing the letters of the alphabet in order to encipher or decipher. The work also includes a number of exotic alphabets.

The Erwin Tomash Library on the History of Computing

|
London